A GROUNDBREAKING teen sexual behaviour study is being undertaken in County Wexford.
Concerning everything from the dangers of social media to the influence of drugs on sexual and alcohol on behaviour group, it is beginning this month and involves local agencies including the Wexford Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Service, Ferns Diocesan Youth Service, Gorey Youth Needs Group, Tusla, the Health Service Executive South East Social Inclusion, the Wexford Support Network on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence and the Wexford Women's Refuge.
The bodies felt there was an urgent need to undertake this study of the sexual behaviours and attitudes of young people aged 12-18 in Co. Wexford.
The purpose of the research is to identify and explore young people's understanding of a healthy sexual relationship, the forces and factors that drive early sexualisation and their impact, the use of social media as a source of information, the awareness by young people of their rights, among other factors.
Newly appointed Manager Wexford Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Service, Clare Williams said: 'The primary purpose of this research is practical in that we hope its findings and recommendations will guide the organisations involved in the development and implementation of appropriate practice.'
The study, which is being led by experienced researchers Brian Harvey and Kathy Walsh with their colleagues (on behalf of the agencies), will involve: a review of the national and international literature; an online survey to get the views of a cross section of young people across the county; focus groups with young people in a number of different (formal and informal) settings; moderated on-line discussions (through the project website) with engagement promoted through the use of social media and consultations with local service providers
The study will be launched formally in January and will run until September 2015. Information on the study will be made available through the local media. The agencies promoting the study hope that as many young people as possible will take the opportunity to participate in the study and share their views and experiences.
If you have been affected by any of these issues and would like to talk to someone about it please contact: Clare Williams Manager of the Wexford Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Service on 1800 330033 or 053 9122722.